In a series by the Washington Post about women and alcohol, it’s suggested the rise in binge drinking, particularly for white adult females, has accounted for an increase in death rates. The theory behind this is drawn from the idea that binge drinking has been normalized.
You don’t have to look very far to find examples of this in modern culture. A popular wine glass was circulating around the internet recently of a wine bottle with a wine glass connected to the top; making it one big glass. It can be purchased from places like Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $20. This glass suggests that having a socially acceptable ‘glass of wine’ can easily turn into a whole bottle and still remain socially acceptable.
Some other popular wine related products can be found on Jac Vanek’s website. Jac Vanek has grown to popularity from her producing witty and relatable sayings on clothing and accessories that can be found in stores like Zumiez and Top Shop and typically have an alcoholic theme. Vanek sells tee shirts and wine glasses saying “wine is the answer, I don’t remember the question,” “you can’t get hungover if you never stop drinking” and“twinkle twinkle little star take me to the closest bar.” Vanek’s brand is marketed towards the edgy, independent young women, but is this really what women need to be relating to?
There are also brands of wine that are directly targeted towards mothers. One brand, Mad Housewife Cellars, portrays a 50s style housewife in black and white imagery. The brand’s slogan is, “what’s domestic bliss without a little wine?” and on their website it says that their wine is “something you can afford to look forward to at the end of each and every day.”
Although this brand was trying to be clever, it does make seriously accusations about the desires of a wife. The brand subtly suggests that wifehood is only “bliss” when wine is added into the mix and drinking daily is acceptable.
The owner of the production of Mad Housewife Cellars, Damian Davis, told the Washington Post, “We treat wine like a lifestyle product. I grew up in a big Catholic family, and having it with dinner was a way of life.”
Although Davis associates wine with tradition, just like many other people, tradition should not be an excuse to binge drink regularly. There is a fine line between have a glass of wine with dinner and binge drinking that is crossed far too often.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks on an occasion for women and states that it’s the cause of 23,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Binge drinking is a known evil, but most people do not consider their regular habits to fall in this category even when they do.
The increase in women targeted marketing for alcohol has increased the amount of binge drinking in women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the drinking behaviors of 278,000 U.S women over the age of 18 for 30 days and concluded that the results were alarming.
The girly alcohol culture that has developed in the U.S. is clearly taking a toll on young and mature women who are becoming more frequent binge drinkers. With preexisting strict laws about alcohol marketing, there is little that can be done about this widespread behavior.
The normalization of binge drinking in females is headed down a dark path and companies who are targeting women should be held to high standards in regards to the advertisement of their product.